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Abstrusa Unde - Introspection (2012) - Review

Band: Abstrusa Unde
Album title: Introspection
Release date: 19 November 2012
Label: Apathia Records

01. Introspection
02. Hamsa Lonri
03. Al Aklorodan
04. Carrousel
05. The Gutter
06. Hastra Na
07. Lost For Life
08. Suune Kvalta

Another very interesting album from France. I've listened a lot to Introspection from Abstrusa Unde lately and still with every another listen I discover more hidden things that this output offers. Band was formed in 2007 by Thibault Schwartz (ex Ave Tenebrae), but the recent formation consists of some impressive names like guitarist Renaud Fauconnier (Wormfood, ex Borgia), bassist Alexis Fartek (ex Taliesin, ex Borgia), four vocalists, one female and three male (one of them is also Thibault), though the most noted must be Augustin Bernard - Roudeix (ex Taliesin) and Aurelien Demaison (ex Borgia). They implemented the sound even with violin, cello and clarinet. Introspection was recorded back in 2010 and also self-released soon after that, but saw it's official release on French label Apathia Records just now. So, what this album offers...

Introspection is an amazing musical journey. In one word I can label it as avantgarde black metal, although it includes a lot of other things. Abstrusa Unde were able to make one hell of musical flow mixing genres like black metal, theatrical music, symphonic metal, classical music and even death metal, operatic elements, progressive touches and so on. They have found a perfect formula how to transform hyper speeding black metal riffs and energetic blasting drumming with elegance into most penetrating and atmospheric symphonic music without loosing the pace. Right after theatrical album titled intro we get drowned into "Hamsa Lonri". Amazing song where all vocal qualities from female vocalist Perrine G. are shown in an outstanding duet with harsh vocals of other members. Great playful and atmospheric keys give a certain depth and gloomy feel. Drums are thounderous and played with perfection. The story continues with dark theatrical beginning of "Al Aklorodan" that transforms in a raging black/death metal masterpiece with many avantgardistic elements, theatrical and symphonic parts that could be an appetizer to Therion fans. Epic "Carrousel" is a story per se. It's like to listen anew to the best what Dimmu Borgir or Borknagar ever offered, especially in it's second half. Though I would like some operatic female vocal lines to be sang a bit more energetic here, and with just a slightly different death metal kind of male growls this could be a masterpiece. Anyway it's a great atmospheric track, complex enough that must be counted as real provoker. Then the adventure continues with specials like "Hastra Na", obscure symphonic black metal madness "Lost For Life" where those frenchmen show a lesson how to transform extreme parts into an acoustic gloomy theatrical part and vice versa. The last one, more than fifteen minutes long "Suune Kvalta" is a collage of everything that Abstrusa Unde can do. Just listen how unbeliveable clarinet goes together with blasting black metal. Album is performed with perfection. Each instrumental part is played with perfection and keeps the listener interested, thus wanting him for more. The overall flow is extremely dark and adventurous. There are so many well played melodic lines and the only tiny glitch remains some minor vocal lines where I would like some more energy from Perrine and couple of death metal growls really should be cut off if you ask me. Those black metal vocals on the other side are mindbreaking.

I enjoyed a lot this album. With just a bit deeper sound that could be reached with better production this could be a classic within the genre, if already it isn't. Fans of almost forgotten Arcturus have something to explore and they should do this as soon as possible, but also all of you who like before mentioned Dimmu Borgir, Therion, Solefald, Borknagar and other similar acts should check this one out. Introspection is complex, it has an overwhelming compact drive although all those variations within their music. Abstrusa Unde are the band which should be followed with attention and I'm eagerly waiting for their next studio output.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10